Probes of banking collapse blocked, says TD

Probes into the banking collapse are being blocked, the chairman of the Dáil’s powerful Public Accounts Committee has warned.

John McGuinness, a former Fianna Fáil minister, said the Department of Finance has denied the committee access to key documentation about what happened on the night of the bank guarantee which saved Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr McGuinness said he was concerned by the situation and feared that “powerful people” did not want the truth to come to light.

He said the people he was referring to were senior bankers, civil servants, and others who were trying to block the committee from conducting a major probe into the banking crisis about to be announced by the Government.

“We are being denied documentation by the finance department regarding the night of the bank guarantee and who was involved in those decisions. That information could easily be made available to the PAC if the will existed.”

Mr McGuinness is keen that the role of the ECB should be examined in the banking probe, which will be announced shortly by Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin.

Government parties are believed to favour the probe being handled by the Dáil’s finance committee, not the PAC.

Mr McGuinness also expressed surprise at the timing of revelations about the €250,000 spend on renovating his office when he was a junior minister in 2007.

“I am not a suspicious man, but I find it unusual that I am the only former minister singled out for this,” he said.


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